Symbols of the world's religions



Linda Poppe

The summer has been emotionally overwhelming. I need some quiet time alone with Baba. I'll go to the Center for awhile and replenish my stores of peace, said I.

"Welcome back. It's good to see you again. You're in the Cabin on the Hill," said they.

"That's great," said I. I just want to be alone, thought I.

"You look like you need to rest. Why don't I take you shopping and then you can be alone," said she.

"Okay, fine," said I, almost against my will. All I wanted was to be alone. But off to Harris Teeter we went to stock up on juices for my planned fast.

Thank goodness that's over. Now I can rest, thought I.

Take your rest. Don't worry. Be happy, said He, and the next two days were spent blissfully sleeping or sipping juice while reading some Baba books.

Be prepared to evacuate by three this afternoon. Hurricane Hugo is headed straight for us," said he.

"No problem. I'll get a room in a hotel until it's over. Have American Express card, will travel," said I.

"All the hotels on The Strand have been evacuated and the ones from Conway all the way back to Florence are full up," said they.

Don't worry. Be happy, said He.

"If you have nowhere else to go, you can stay at my place," said he.

"We seem to be driving in the opposite direction of all the other traffic," said I.

"It's okay. You'll be safe," said he.

Don't worry. Be happy, said He.

"You can't stay there. That area has also been ordered evacuated. You'll have to leave," said she.

"We can't leave. Tom has gone back to the Center. We have no car," said I.

Don't worry. Be happy, said He.

"I'll come for you," said she.

"This piece of floor seems unoccupied," said we, as we settled in for our night with three thousand other evacuees at the Conway shelter.

Don't worry. Be happy, said He.

"Oh well, it's over," said we, as we surveyed the damage the following morning.

"What now?" said we. Charleston was devastated. Pawleys Island was under water. The Grand Strand was badly damaged. The National Guard was out. There was no electricity, no phone, no water. No one was allowed back to Myrtle Beach. There were reports of heavy looting. There was talk of martial law. The guardsmen had been ordered to shoot to maim.

"What now?" said everyone.

"What has happened to our Center?" said we, as we joined all the local South Carolinians who were concerned about their homes.

Don't worry. Be happy, said He.

"The airport is closed. No flights. The car rental companies are in the airport. There is no way out. We can't stay at the Center. We must find a place to stay," said we.

Don't worry. Be happy, said He.

"I have these friends who might be able to help," said she.

"Okay," said we, being in no position to argue.

"By the way, they're born-again Christians," she said as we pulled into their already crowded driveway.

Oh, great, thought I, as I prepared to be redeemed.

Don't worry. Be happy, said He, and I am sure that I heard Him chuckle.

"Welcome," said they. And for five days they sheltered us and fed us and considered us 'family.' Each day, they asked me about my Master. And on the last day that I was to spend with them, after a lengthy discussion about Baba and Jesus, they said they were grateful for the opportunity to have learned more about Baba. Just then, one of the children ran in to tell us about the beautiful double rainbow in the sky. We all went out to look at Baba's flag draped across the heavens. What a lovely benediction!

Don't worry. Be happy, said He, smiling.

"Yes, you can go back in now to get your belongings," said they at the Gateway. With those words, we were also able to go back and see our home, post-Hugo, on our last day in South Carolina. The damage was minimal. Our home had been spared. He had preserved His home for us and for future members of our family. Big trees had been felled, but they had fallen in such a way as to do no damage to the structures in which we all live. The evidence of His loving protection was all around us.

"Come and see," said he tearfully, as I came out of the Lagoon Cabin. Across the bridge we went. The fence around the guest house was partially blown down, and I couldn't help but wonder if there was a message there. Perhaps now that Mehera is back with Baba the time for seclusion is over. But I have no way of knowing whether or not that is true. What I do know to be true is what I saw next. Among the blown-down trees, by the Library, the Cedar Nook and the Tree Room, there is a rose garden. Not one branch of the rose bushes was broken. All of the roses were in full bloom and not one petal had fallen to the ground.

I told you. Don't worry. Be happy. I will help you, said He again. And I felt His protective arms that had held me all week tighten around me. I feel them still. Whatever else Hugo may have blown away, it took from me any doubt that I am His and that I need Him, only. I feel blessed to have been chosen to spend that one week out of fifty-two learning about a different kind of quietude and peace. And I know now that I will always be sheltered by members of Baba's community regardless of the name they call Him by.



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